Of being inside of me, withdrawn, reserved. When I was five I lived for a year or two in a plantation, in Corrientes, surrounded by woodlands and marshes; it was the first opportunity I had to expand my consciousness that I remember. The tango "Garufa", sung by my mother is the aesthetic fact that I have in my mind of the past years.
I lived alternating between the 'year' in Buenos Aires with its introspection, its culture, and the summers in the Entre Ríos countryside where I used to recover the feeling of unity with the landscape, the wildlife and the the natural life.
The life of Hermógenes Cayo, the 'imaginero' from la Puna, a person I had met as a child because of Jorge Prelorán documentary, was fixed in me as an example of a certain way-to-be-in-the-world that I now feel as mine.
I have always been enthusiastic about books and knowledge, although I was soon disappointed by the intelligentsia, for being always partial and temporary. I preferred the experience of the world. Once and once again, some way or the other I seeked for the lushness, the sensitivity, the tactile-ness, the concrete.
I felt I was accepted in this tradition when I got to Araceli Vázquez Málaga's workshop. Together with the technique, she taught me a system of spiritual development, the responsibility of getting to know it, practice it and transmit it, the commitment of fidelity to its truthness, and the grace of enjoying it.
It was her who naturally connected me with the work of the masters. Who made me see in Giotto an old and close ancestor, who talked to me about her intimate contact with Enrique de Larrañaga and Pío Collivadino, who suggested me to see Felipe Pino's exhibition in Artemúltiple, Gabriel Levina's or "Incendio en el Colegio Jasídico de Minsk de 17..." (Fire in the Hasidic College of Minsk, 17...), by Roberto Aizenberg, in the Fundación Lorenzutti.
"Antiestética" (Antiaesthetics), by Luis Felipe Noé, organized my thought and revealed to me the connection between the sophisticated painting technique and its primary, archetypical and magical content. I found in the act of painting a shelter, a path towards introspection and balance that was favorable and propitious to my own growth, and that later on turned into a form of expression and celebration of its own.
Vision of art
1. Choose a work that represents you, describe it in relation to its format and materiality, its relation with time and space, its style and theme; detail its production process.
I chose to show here the last of my paintings. It's a oil on a wooden frame that measures 56cm x 80cm x 12cm, and whose edges are covered in nickel silver. It's untitled, but the words that constitute its theme and structure could be thought as such. Not stating it turns it into a message yet to be discovered. The way it is done is the result of several previous processes, both concrete and imaginary that makes it difficult to date. Back in 2002 I set the texts for the 22 paintings series based on assertions, devotionals and statements from Samael Aun Weor's Tality system. These words set the structure for the drawing as they adecquate the format of the frames that I had been previously recycling, puting together and preparing.
I took the idea of painting words from a poem-painting by Paul Klee. The colors I used are those of the buses in Buenos Aires, and its 'fileteado porteño', a BA styled iconography art. The shape of the first spot of 02 turned out to be very weird and chaotic to me, in 2007, demanding many changes and reconsiderations. These words sum up the feeling of limitation of these statements in comparison with the 'show-ness' of experience that a painting is. I feel the recycled wood, the nickel silver and the heavy object as ways to connect myself with the Creole Baroque. The preparation of the surface, the thick and tactile painting, all of that refers me to the finishing of those metalic and endlessly painted surfaces of ships. I explore the sensation of what is alive, fresh and beautiful, as in comparison to the arduousness and complexity of the process. Sometimes I use formalist aesthetics, and sometimes that of art for art's sake as a source of joy and trascendent wisdom. From social artists I take their commitment with the ethical meaning of the work of art.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
I would like my work to be swown, gazed at and enjoyed. Readings or interpretations have more to do with meanings that are alien to the works and the activity of the artists. "Reading", then, is understanding, filing away, contextualizing, historicizing, not participating or completing the meaning of the work. I would ask for a reading as little violent and blind as possible in relation to the unity and complexity of my artistic process, and the wider possible consideration of its sources, loyalties and projections.
3. In reference to your work and your position in the national and international art fields, what tradition do you recognize yourself in? Who are your contemporary referents? What artists of previous generations are of interest to you?
I believe there is a cultural construction called "national and international artistic field" from which I am excluded or in relation to which I am overshadowed because of the nature of what I do. I see myself as a member of the painting tradition and feel myself a contemporary of those who have once painted. I don't sense any special affinity for any particular form or style, but paying special attention on the poetic depth and the "artisticity" of my works. In this point, my most important reference has been Iris Schaccheri, who, by practicing a different language to mine -that of dance- allowed me to recognize the artistic experience as the focus of my interest. In relation to artists/painters: Joaquín Torres-García and Benito Quinquela Martín. Other influences: Rómulo Macciò, Luis Felipe Noé, Juan José Cambre, Nicolás García Uriburu, Norberto Gómez, Juan Carlos Distéfano, Alberto Heredia, Marcia Schvartz, Duilio Pierri, Marcelo Pombo, Lux Lindner, Benito Laren. From another generation: Déborah Pruden, Agustín Inchausti, Vicente Grondona, Florencia Bohtlingk, Fernanda Laguna, Silvia Gurfein, Ernesto Arellano, Santiago Iturralde, Marina Bandín, Hernán Salamanco, Oscar Benedeccti, Javier Barilaro, Alejandra Seeber, Manuel Esnoz, Nahuel Vecino.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
During the past few years I've been particularly interested in retrospectives by Antonio Berni, Raquel Forner, Fernando Fader, Raúl Soldi, Roberto Aisenberg, Leónidas Gambartes, Bernaldo Cesáreo de Quirós, Xul Solar, Juan Del Prete, Juan Batlle Planas, Alicia Peñalba, Pablo Curatella Manes, Grupo Orión, Leopoldo Presas, De la Vega, Santiago Cogorno, Libero Badii, Antonio Pujía, for they allowed me to recognize myself. I was inspired by some exhibitions such as "Mariscos en tu calipso" (Shellfish in your calypso) and "Martes 13" (Tuesday 13), by Esteban Pagés and Emiliano Miliyo, and the work of Marcelo Pombo, Benito Laren and Lux Lindner.
5. What tendencies or groupings from common elements do you see in argentine art of the last ten or fifteen years?
Groupings and categorizations seem to be determined by non-aesthetic factors. These are operations related to the possibilities of art financing or diffusion. On the one hand, imitative tendencies, 'main'stream', 'contemporary art' or official art seeking support, recognition or admittance to art salons, art biennials, Documentas, fairs, galleries, critics, texts, curators, and therefore loosing their focus and identity. On the other hand, expressive tendencies, self-taught (free-expression workshops, personal or collective mythologies, CC Rojas, Belleza y Felicidad, Appetite...) that are an enormous source of vitality and freedom of language. The current I feel I belong to is that or painters -artists or painting-painting. Since we enjoy a moment of freedom and sweet anarchy of the forms it is difficult now to perceive elements that may form a group or a certain classification, lacking -as we do- a sense of perspective.